So Dion Bailey just visited the Bengals so he is obviously on their radar. What round is he on their radar, well that is the real question.
Dion Bailey (S) (USC)
6’0″ 201 lbs
40 yard dash: 4.66
Vertical leap 34″
Strengths: He has good maybe even great hands for interceptions. Had 3 picks in the first 8 games in 2013. Has played in two positions at a high level in college and succeeded at both, to an extent. He has good intelligence and is skilled at reading coverages. Can be an impact player with his ball skills and blitzing capability. He learns quickly from his mistakes and I doesn’t make the same mistake twice.
Weaknesses: Still a little raw at safety, only converted a year ago. Strangely enough even though he is a former LB he dives at the feet to tackle a lot, which causes missed tackles. (This started after the shoulder issue he had so maybe he was nursing/still timid about his previous injury) His instincts at safety still need work, sometimes goes into LB mode and gets beat over the top. Has some so concerns about durability(shoulder surgery). Takes some bad angles/incorrectly turns his back to the ball. Struggles with deep routes see picture breakdown of play against Oregon State for examples of both.
Key moments vs Oregon State:
1) Bad pass interference 0:32
2) Blown coverage 2:00 see picture breakdown above
3) Good defensive read 3:00
4) back to back plays learns from mistake let’s TE slip out then correctly covers the TE and makes an INT 5:05 see picture breakdowns below
I have seen him going as high as the 2nd round in mock drafts and as low as the 5th. I really think his ranking by team will vary widely based on the system that the team runs. Since he is a tweener his stock is drastically different for the teams that run a 3-4 and teams that run a 4-3. He is a bit underrated at strong safety so I think he could be a good value pick if he slides. As we have seen in the past drafts strong safety’s can slide as teams use their mid round picks to sure up the trenches (OL & DT) and take high upside players at DE, CB, WR and RB. As for the Bengals, I can’t see them going for him unless he slides to the 4th or beyond. This could very well happen too look at Bacarri Rambo last year he fell to round 6 pick 191 overall. This is what Gil Brant of the NFL Network said about him before the draft “Rambo is a good tackler with top-notch ball skills — he had eight interceptions in 2011.” Does that sound familiar to what I have said about Bailey…I think so, and both were coming off underwhelming years by their teams defenses. Another reason that they will likely wait until he is an extreme value is the current roster. The LB/S role is already occupied by Taylor Mays (since he is a safety turned LB as well) and Emmanuel Lamur being there as Nickel cover LB. The one person that doesn’t want to see his fellow Trojan drafted is Taylor Mays. That one year contract won’t do much to stop the Bengals from cutting him if Dion looks promising in camp. Mays will have to find a new team to wear his short shorts, tuck up his jersey to show off his abs at practice, and talk about his girlfriend on.
He is not a quitter he played hard and even worked to get better with all of turmoil of this season for USC. Let’s be frank that USC team was awful especially the defense. The only reason that stadium was 40% full was to get a good suntan. He kept working hard all year when seemingly there was nothing to play for. Things like that are important to Marvin and we’re to Zimmer, I would expect no different from Gunther. He is still a project at safety so he wouldn’t come in and start with how well George Iloka progressed last year and would have to beat out Williams. If he is taken I could see them carrying four safety’s and Mays as the LB/S injury insurance option for one year. Then going with Bailey, Williams, Nelson, and Iloka in 2015. Unless he slides a bit I can’t see them pulling the trigger on him they definitely won’t be calling his name at 55 and I don’t even think at 88. Mostly because I see him as a strong safety and with the Williams pick last year and Iloka on the roster. I see them only going safety early (SS starter) or late (Special teams help) not something in the middle. If they are staring down the barrel at him at 164 don’t be surprised if they go back to the Trojan well they used to drink from so often!
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These screenshots came from videos from http://www.draftbreakdown.com
Combine stats courtesy of http://www.NFL.com